Cambodia Learning Community focuses on collaboration and community learning in order to build the technical skills and understanding of national Cambodian staff working within our member organizations. There are currently 57 member organizations in the Chab Dai Coalition, both national and international (ranging from small grassroots ministries to large organizations), representing more than 1,617 national staff and 42 volunteers, who in turn work with more than 10,134 direct beneficiaries each year. These organizations represent the majority of civil society in Cambodia who are working among the most vulnerable and marginalized populations of women and children, seeking to address issues of sexual abuse and trafficking as well as provide social services to those who have already been exploited.
The aim of Learning Community Project is to see member organizations lead the way forward in raising the standard of care for survivors and those at risk of being exploited. Strategic collaboration for child protection is generated through capacity-building, training and resources, and innovative ideas are dispersed through forums, events and bi-annual member meetings. Our resource library, with more than 3,000 books, articles and other resources in English, Khmer and Vietnamese, is available for member organizations to access valuable research and information on trafficking across the region and around the world. As a coalition we also partner with more than 60 other NGOs, government ministries and UN agencies, with whom we share resources and work on various projects and initiatives.
In early 2014, Doorsteps project and Charter project combined into a single project that aims to equip organizations in developing best practices in order to lead the way forward in raising standards of care and to build their capacity to address exploitation and human trafficking in their communities. The main activities of this project can be divided into Charter activities and Doorsteps activities. Doorsteps involves mainly training and mentoring activities, open to all Chab Dai members. Trainings include Project Cycle Management, Financial and Human Resources Training and workshops on Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Doorsteps also provides small seed grants to trainees so they can practice grant proposal writing, project implementation and report writing on a small scale. Charter project engages Charter members in a process of self-assessment on four collective values: Protection, Participation, Transparency and Collaboration. Following the self-assessment, Charter members, with the help of the Charter-Doorsteps team, design and implement an Improvement Action Plan in their organizations, with the goal of improving their structures and policies to achieve higher standards in organizational development, staff care and training, policy and practice.
This project is particularly relevant for smaller member organizations who understand the local context and have a desire and a vision to see change in their own communities but who have had very little in the way of formal education and training to equip them for managing projects. This way, organizations are enabled to reach internationally-recognized standards in the areas of staff care, financial accountability, governance, project planning and design and child well-being. A list of members implementing the Charter standards is available here.
Freedom Registry Cambodia is dedicated to fostering collaboration through innovate uses of technology. By building grassroots engagement with the online Freedom Collaborative platform, Freedom Registry provides the innovative means and vital information needed to support anti-trafficking stakeholders to better protect those at risk and provide life-changing services to survivors. By engaging stakeholders to register and use Freedom Registry to connect with peer organizations, as well as share and use resources in Freedom Library, Freedom Registry Cambodia will build a connected, collaborative and informed response to human trafficking.
The “Heart and Hands” Social Work Project was established in 2009 and is part of Chab Dai's coalition team. We work closely with Chab Dai member organizations to equip counselors and social workers to provide high standards of care to their target populations. Through technical skills training, counseling and social work skills, conflict resolution and family mediation as well as supervision and mentoring, our team builds and strengthens the capacity of Cambodian counselors, social workers, housemothers, aftercare shelter workers and foster caregivers. Once a year, the Jeut Nung Dai team organizes a Social Work conference. We also offer direct counseling to clients and their families when needed. Thus far, more than 500 social workers and counselors have benefited from the Jeut Nung Dai project. Support groups, supervision, training and mentoring ensure long-term sustainability and continuing benefits stemming from the efforts of the Jeut Nung Dai project.
In 2010 Chab Dai launched a ten-year research project to better understand re-integration for men and women who are survivors of trafficking for sexual purposes. Over a period of 10 years, this study aims to better understand the experiences of more than 100 survivors of abuse who have been re-integrated back into society after rehabilitation. The research team follows study participants starting from the time they are in the aftercare program and throughout their transition into a community setting. The purpose is to “hear” from the survivors themselves, about their lives, understandings and experiences, so their voices can contribute towards a greater understanding of the complexities of re-integration. This past year we have altered our methodology (please see methodology reflection paper) and we will produce themed papers in the coming years.
Launched in June 2011, Case Support Project provides support and referral assistance to victims of abuse. When abuse is reported to the case support team via another NGO or our 24-hour hotline, we collaborate with local police, human rights agencies and other partners to ensure the case is followed through and perpetrators are reported properly. In addition to working on cases within Cambodia, we have built strong cross-border networks with other NGOs and embassies in neighboring countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and China to assist Cambodians who are being abused or exploited across the border. In 2012 the project set up a support office in Kuala Lumpur to assist with coordination of cross-border cases involving the exploitation of Cambodian domestic workers in Malaysia, and in 2014 we assisted with the return of a large number of Cambodian women trafficked to China for forced marriages.
The Case Support team works with legal institutions, law enforcement and both the private and public sectors to improve legal systems and to implement appropriate legal procedures for the empowerment and protection of Cambodian children's and women's rights and dignity, and to prevent vulnerable populations from being raped and trafficked in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and China.
Safe Community Project aims to empower government officials and community leaders in both rural and urban border areas in Cambodia to protect children and communities at risk of trafficking, sexual abuse and any form of exploitation. We provide a three-stage training program to local authorities, school teachers, NGO staff and religious leaders working in the border areas of Cambodia, including general awareness raising, prevention of child sexual tourism and human trafficking and follow-up strategies for those who have already been abused or trafficked. On completion of the training, government officials and community leaders become the main point of contact between their communities and Chab Dai/police/human rights organizations where needed, whilst continuing to train new government officials and community leaders. Trainers then receive a final follow up meeting on raising awareness in communities and to address any further questions, clarify training points or assist with case work. As well as direct training, Safe Community conducts a radio program, both live and recorded broadcasting, on the issues of human trafficking, sexual abuse, safe migration and children’s rights with the aim to reach the most remote areas of Cambodia and raise awareness on these points for better prevention and protection of vulnerable communities.
Ethnic Community Prevention Project is the former Vietnamese Prevention Project that began in 2008 in response to Chab Dai's research project, “At What Price, Honour?” (2006). In 2014 the project expanded its scope to include other vulnerable ethnic communities living in Cambodia, such as Cham Muslim, with the aim to empower ethnic communities and community leaders to protect children at risk of abuse, sexual exploitation and trafficking. This aim is achieved by Chab Dai’s team working directly with communities and children whilst cooperating with ethnic church leaders, commune chiefs, local authorities, school teachers and NGO workers. Communities with at-risk populations, in both the capital city of Phnom Penh and border provinces with Vietnam and Thailand, receive training on issues related to trafficking and child protection and are empowered with resources and tools on how to report cases to the appropriate authorities. We work in collaboration with local authorities at all levels to raise awareness with the people in the community about the methods and means offenders employ in trafficking vulnerable people and to provide education on safe migration practices.
Community Heroes Prevention Project aims to empower and build capacity of community leaders (local authorities, government workers from department of women's affairs, school teachers and church leaders) in rural and remote areas to protect and prevent children and women from human trafficking, sexual abuse and all forms of exploitation. We provide training, capacity-building, follow up and mentoring to leaders who express their commitment to become volunteer trainers, “Heroes,” in their communities. Our team supports volunteer trainers in forming safety networks within their communities to report cases of abuse to relevant institutions, NGOs, police officers and local authorities through Chab Dai hotline number cards.
Between January and October 2014, the team educated and trained 80 Heroes from 180 villages in 8 provinces in Cambodia, who in turn educated 10,436 villagers (2,794 men, 6,508 women and 1,134 children) on prevention and protection from exploitation and human trafficking.